Algeria: Four terroristes sentenced for kidnapping German tourists
ALGIERS - Four Algerian terrorists who had participated in the 2003 abduction of tourists, including Germans, were sentenced Thursday in Algiers to sentences ranging from 20 years in prison to life imprisonment, reported the press agency APS.
- Nacer Attia and Abdelmajid Kaouas were sentenced to life imprisonment and Bouabdella Benalia as well as Abdelabasset besseriani to twenty years imprisonment for "membership in a terrorist group" acting "within and outside the country and involvement in kidnapping of German tourists, traffic and importation of weapons, membership of a terrorist attempt on the security of the State and its property, theft and murder,"said APS.
They were especially accused of involvement in the kidnapping of German tourists under the direction of the radical Islamist emir Abderrezak El Para, very active at the time in the Sahara region.
From February 2003, foreign tourists - 16 Germans, 10 Austrians, four Swiss, a Dutchman and a Swede - had been kidnapped in the region in small groups, before the Algerian army did release a some of them in May, during a military operation.
Another group of Germans was released August 17 "after paying a ransom of five million euros" by Germany as a result of negotiations "in Malian territory" which was attended by the defendants, according to the attorney for trial, but one hostage had died of sunstroke.
The four defendants were arrested and handed over to Algerian authorities in Niger, Chad and Mali on dates that were not specified.
The two lifers were also prosecuted for having participated in the 1993 storming of Tazoult prison in Batna (400 km south-east of Algiers) for 1200 prisoners to escape, Abdelmajid Kaouas also responsible for various attacks against the police which made dozens of deaths.
Ennaharonline/ M. O.